Wear Your Beach House Well

I am currently designing a beach-front house in an area that was fortunately and miraculously untouched by Hurricane Sandy.  But even so, the design of this house is now very much affected by the hurricane.  My client is wary of future natural disasters and she wants to decorate the house with this in mind.

This is not to say that we are creating a bunker or water-proofing all of the furniture, but we are being particularly price-conscious when it comes to furnishings because “you just never know”.  And while I typically opt for a sunnier outlook in life, the rain may literally come, so we are trying to be reasonable about the investments while still having fun with the decorating.

A great example, a rustic take on the iconic hand chair from Noir Furniture — we will make room for a piece with this much personality!

In addition to natural disasters, my client is also thinking about her two little kids — adorable, but hurricanes, or rather tornadoes, in and of themselves!  She wants to protect the house as much from the kids as from an actual storm.  We are trying to be water-proof, sand-proof, dirt-proof, baby-proof, as well as guest proof (as we all know, the guests can be worse than the kids!)!!!

To create a look that is appropriately casual for the beach and will also handle lots of wear and tear, we are using a lot of furniture made from weathered woods and metals.  Because these pieces already have an aged look, my client won’t be so worried when her son is rough-housing or a friend puts a sweaty glass on a table.

Here are a few examples of pieces from Caracole and Noir Furniture using iron, zinc, weathered wood and rope for a perfectly rustic feel.

We are also using high performance, indoor-outdoor fabrics throughout the house.  So many fabric companies now make great looking fabrics that can withstand the elements without feeling hard or like plastic.  Donghia carries some incredibly plush outdoor fabrics that feel like they belong inside. And Lulu DK makes one of my favorite outdoor collections in really fun patterns and colors.  Here is a scheme I created starting with one of Lulu DK’s new fabrics from the Floral and Fauna Collection — this one isn’t weatherproof, but it is fabulous and sunny!

For this project we are also planning to use some whimsical, kitschy pieces.  While they may seem cliche, items made with shells, coral and nautical rope are always appropriate.

For me the beach house is an opportunity to really let loose with color. For this client we are using shades of bright yellow, coral and turquoise throughout the main living rooms, all tempered with shades of sand and ivory.  These schemes work in tandem with the above yellow and blue scheme so that every room on the main floor of the house flows seamlessly from one to the next.

These colorful schemes that can bring sunshine to your beach house — even in the event of stormy skies!





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